Thursday, October 27, 2011

Can Perry's 20% Replace Cain's 9-9-9?

Rick Perry has announced a "cut, balance and grow" tax plan with a 20% flat rate as one of its components (others include a Balanced Budget Amendment and a ban on earmarks). The plan would be optional, taxpayers could choose the present tax law or the 20% tax. Only mortgage interest, charitable contributions and state and local taxes would be deductible under the 20% plan and Perry would raise exemptions to $12,500 each to exclude most low-income and working class Americans from tax liability. Perry would also go to a 20% rate on corporations while significantly cutting into corporate tax incentives.

Predictably attacked by liberals as being "pro-rich," Perry's plan is intriguing in its simplicity EXCEPT for the optional feature. Giving taxpayers a choice between the proposed plan and present tax law is clearly full employment for tax CPAs, but the thought of having to calculate tax both ways for clients bringing in tax documents on April 8 (or October 8 for extensions) probably is enough to cause even the most mild-mannered CPA or EA to have nightmares and run screaming from his or her desk.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

"Save for Retirement Week." Why Not?

{Note: Apologies for my lack of recent posts)

The sixth annual "Save for Retirement Week," original designated by Congress through a bi-partisan (not sure what that means? join the club) resolution. ING Financial and Great-West Retirement Services promoted the week recently and the week was mentioned at AICPA's fall council meeting. The week fits well with the AICPA's "Feed the Pig" initiative as well.

Admittedly, in these parts, the third week in October is best known as the week of the Alabama--Tennessee football game (likely a no contest this year). Nevertheless, "Save for Retirement Week" is a worthy event and hopefully numerous people will be encouraged to talk advantage of retirement plans at their employers'.

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